Although there are several different types of arthritis, when most people think of arthritis, they are referring to osteoarthritis. This is the swollen and chronically painful joint accompanied with injury or “old age”. Primary Osteoarthritis develops when excessive stress is put on ordinary joint tissues; or normal amounts of stress are put on a weakened joint over time. Secondary Osteoarthritis usually occurs after a trauma to a joint. There are also Rheumatic forms of arthritis which typically have inflammatory precursors and are more systemic in nature.
Arthritis can lead to enlarged joints, altered gait, and poor posture. The pain and swelling of arthritis inhibits exercise and movement which can cause the arthritis to affect the joint nearby. The limited mobility and emotional ramifications of arthritic pain create a cascade effect which causes progression of the degeneration.
Chiropractors can help osteoarthritis by restoring proper movement into the affected joint. When proper biomechanics are restored to a joint synovial fluid is released to bathe the tissues surrounding the joint, which aids in tissue healing. Chiropractic care along with diet, ergonomic, and lifestyle modification has even shown effective in reversing arthritis in some cases! (See before and after x-rays in Success in Your Spine.)
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